Published June 13, 2016
Reaction by Russian officials and public figures to hooliganism and violence involving Russia and England fans before and during Russia's 1-1 draw with England on Saturday at the European Championship in France.
"English fans started the fight at the Marseille port by attacking our fans. But 250 Russian fans from all parts of our country did not flinch and repulsed the attack of the heavily drunk islanders." — Russian state-owned broadcaster Rossiya portrays Russian fans heroically in a text story on its website.
"If Russian footballers were as fired up for the European Championship as Russian fans then we'd already have become European champions." — Former Russian Football Union spokesman Andrei Malosolov in a column for popular Russian website sports.ru.
"The French police should have stopped them meeting in the city at any time, cut Marseille in half and said: 'Russians, this is your part, and English, this is your part.' And put tank forces from the French army in the middle ... Liberal Europe has become too liberal and not prepared for these events." — Russian lawmaker and Russian Football Union executive committee member Igor Lebedev criticizes French policing in comments to The Associated Press on Monday.
"Some people went there not to watch football, that's for sure. (A hooligan) put a mask on his face, disgraced the country and has fun doing it." — Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to state news agency Tass on Sunday.
"We hope that in Lille it will be quieter, because in Lille there will be three times fewer Russians than there were in Marseille and Slovakia isn't our main opponent ... Some (of those involved in violence) have stayed, some have gone back (to Russia)." — The head of the All-Russian Fans' Union, Alexander Shprygin, discusses the possibilities for disorder at Russia's next game against Slovakia in Lille on Wednesday in comments to The AP.